|Publication number||US7390207 B2|
|Application number||US 11/363,936|
|Publication date||Jun 24, 2008|
|Filing date||Mar 1, 2006|
|Priority date||Mar 7, 2005|
|Also published as||CA2537851A1, CA2537851C, CN1832270A, DE602006000247D1, DE602006000247T2, EP1701413A1, EP1701413B1, US20060199415|
|Publication number||11363936, 363936, US 7390207 B2, US 7390207B2, US-B2-7390207, US7390207 B2, US7390207B2|
|Inventors||Takamitsu Noguchi, Shigeru Ishikawa, Kotaro Hayashi|
|Original Assignee||Fujikura Ltd.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (19), Referenced by (7), Classifications (6), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a self-aligning connector which cal be used when parts of a modular structure of a vehicle or the like are assembled and which has a function of self-aligning,
Priority is claimed on Japanese Patent Application No. 2005-63006, filed Mar. 7, 2005, the content of which is incorporated herein by reference.
2. Description of the Related Art
An example of a conventional connector with a self-aligning function is shown in
In the conventional self-aligning connector, it is necessary to provide such spring pieces at four portions as a centering means such that deviation occurring at the time of connecting with respect to its counterpart can be absorbed by those spring pieces being deformed. However, such a structure or spring pieces can absorb a relatively small deviation only. In other words, in order to absorb a considerable or large deviation, it is necessary to set the amounts of deformations of such spring pieces to be larger. In that case, the need to make the dimensions of a securing portion (or of the opening of the partition wall), to which the female connector is secured, larger is inevitable. As a result, it is difficult or impossible to mount or provide such a connecting structure where there is not sufficient space.
The present invention has been made in light of the above-described circumstances. An object of the present invention is to provide a self-aligning connector (structure), wherein a relatively large deviation during assembly can be absorbed, wherein a centering function thereof is inherently superior to that obtainable using most conventional ones, and wherein it is downsizable.
In order to achieve the above object, according to a first aspect of the present invention, a self-aligning connector is provided, comprising: a female connector which is adapted to include at least one electrical component and to be optionally secured to one securing portion; a male connector connectable to the female connector, the male connector being adapted to include at least one electrical component and to be optionally secured to another securing portion; and at least one connector cover and at least one slide plate, which are disposed between the one securing portion and the another securing portion; wherein the connector cover includes a plurality of resilient pawls, distal ends of which are located in the vicinity of a connector cover center portion in front-rear and left-right directions in the plane of the connector cover, wherein the slide plate includes a receiving portion in which resilient pawls are inserted and engaged; and wherein the resilient pawls absorb deviations in the front-rear and left-right directions occurring at the time of connecting the female and the male connectors to properly align the female and the male connectors.
According to a second aspect of the present invention, in the self-aligning connector of the first aspect of the present invention, the connector cover and the slide plate are provided at at least one of between the one securing portion and the female connector and between the another securing portion and the male connector.
According to a third aspect of the present invention, in the self-aligning connector of the first aspect of the present invention, the connector cover and the slide plate are provided between the another securing portion and the male connector.
According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, in the self-aligning connector of the third aspect of the present invention, the connector cover is secured to the male connector, and the slide plate is secured to the another securing portion.
According to a fifth aspect of the present invention, in the self-aligning connector of the first aspect of the present invention, the receiving portion includes an opening and a slot.
According to a sixth aspect of the present invention, in the self-aligning connector of the fifth aspect of the present invention, the connector cover includes a frame body located at a substantial center of the connector cover, and the frame body is formed with three resilient pawls which are inserted and engaged in the opening of the slide plate.
According to a seventh aspect of the present invention, in the self-aligning connector of the sixth aspect of the present invention, amounts of elastic deformations of the three resilient pawls are settable by way of a clearance between the frame and each of to three resilient pawls.
Those and other objects, characteristics and advantages of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the description of the exemplary embodiment of the invention as depicted in the attached drawings and from the attached claims.
Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the drawings.
The slide plate 2 is fixed to, for example, a center console panel 50 (another securing portion) of the automotive vehicle (see
The connector cover 1 is provided with four resilient pawls 6 trough 9 (the resilient pawl 9 is not illustrated in
As illustrated in
The receptacle type connecting terminals 15 are housed in terminal receiving chambers 16 of the female connector 30. Flanges 17 of the holder 12 of the female connector 40 are inserted into latching portions 18 of the connector cover 1, so that the connector cover 1 is secured to the male connector 40.
As described above, the flanges 17 of the (foregoing) holder 12 are inserted into and hooked over the latching portions 18. The resilient pawl 9 is formed by cutting such that the distal end thereof is positioned in the vicinity of the center of the connector cover 1. A bulbous portion of the distal end of the resilient pawl 9 is fined in the slot 5 formed in the lower plate 2B of the slide plate 2.
The three resilient pawls 6, 7, and 8 are formed such that proximal ends of those pawls 6 to 8 are connected to an inner side of a frame body 19, the frame body 19 being formed so as to stand upright from a center portion of an upper surface of the connector cover 1. Each of the resilient pawls 6, 7, and 8 is extended parallel to the frame body 19 from a junction with respect to the frame body 19, and has the bulbous portion at the distal end thereof.
If an extended length of each of the resilient pawls 6, 7, and 8 is made longer or if a distance between each of the resilient pawls 6, 7, and 8 and the inner side of the frame body 19 is made longer, an amount of deflection of each pawl (6-8) can be longer. Therefore, a relatively large dimensional deviation can be absorbed. Further, since every one of the resilient pawls 6 to 9 is extended, not toward an outer side of the connector cover 1, but toward an inner side or a substantial center of the connector cover 1, it is unnecessary to make the slide plate 2 larger. Thus, widening an attaching surface of the slide plate 2 is unnecessary.
As described above, the U-shaped opening 3 is formed at an upper surface side of the slide plate 2, so that the extended piece 4 is centrally-located and formed. The (aforesaid) resilient pawls 6, 7, and 8 are set within the opening 3 such that the distal ends thereof touch the three side surfaces of the extended piece 4.
Although the present invention has been described with reference to the specific embodiment, this description is not meant to be construed in a limiting sense. Various modifications of the disclosed embodiment, as well as alternative embodiments of the invention, will be apparent to persons skilled in the art upon reference to the description of the invention. It is therefore contemplated that such modifications can be made without departing from the sprit or scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.
For example, although the embodiment described above is structured such that the connector cover 1 and the slide plate 2 are provided between the other securing portion (center console panel 50) and the male connector 40, another exemplary structure is possible in which the connector cover 1 and the slide plate 2 are provided between the one securing bracket/portion 20 and the female connector 30. Another exemplary structure is also possible in which the connector cover 1 and the slide plate 2 are provided both of between the one securing bracket/portion 20 and the female connector 30 and between the another securing portion (center console panel 50) and the male connector 40.
Further, the above-described embodiment is structured such that the connector cover 1 is secured to the male connector 40, and the slide plate 2 is secured to the another securing portion (center console panel 50). However, the present invention is not limited to the same. A reverse structure is possible. Namely, the connector cover 1 may be secured to the another securing portion (center console panel 50) and the slide plate 2 may be secured to the male connector 40.
Note that amounts of elastic deformations of the four exemplary resilient pawls 6, 7, 8, and 9 are settable by way of the clearance bet the frame body 19 and each of the four resilient pawls 6, 7, 8, and 9.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7442069 *||Nov 13, 2007||Oct 28, 2008||Innocom Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.||Orienting structure for connecting male connector and female connector and display device using the same|
|US7918682 *||Jan 20, 2010||Apr 5, 2011||Fujitsu Ten Limited||Connector system for a vehicle antenna|
|US8848395||Jun 28, 2012||Sep 30, 2014||Fu Tai Hua Industry (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.||Securing mechanism and electronic device with connector cover|
|US9054442 *||Sep 29, 2011||Jun 9, 2015||Yazaki Corporation||Terminal connection structure having a holder to hold two terminals in an overlapping state|
|US20080113547 *||Nov 13, 2007||May 15, 2008||Innocom Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.||Orienting structure for connecting male connector and female connector and display device using the same|
|US20100203770 *||Jan 20, 2010||Aug 12, 2010||Fujitsu Ten Limited||Connector system for a vehicle antenna|
|US20130196558 *||Sep 29, 2011||Aug 1, 2013||Yazaki Corporation||Terminal connection structure|
|Cooperative Classification||H01R13/73, H01R13/6315, H01R2201/26|
|Mar 1, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: FUJIKURA LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:NOGUCHI, TAKAMITSU;ISHIKAWA, SHIGERU;HAYASHI, KOTARO;REEL/FRAME:017634/0313
Effective date: 20060224
|Nov 23, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Feb 5, 2016||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jun 24, 2016||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Aug 16, 2016||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20160624